53 Facts About Marco Polo


Marco Polo was appointed to serve as Khan's foreign emissary, and he was sent on many diplomatic missions throughout the empire and Southeast Asia, such as in present-day Burma, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.


Marco Polo was released in 1299, became a wealthy merchant, married, and had three children.


Marco Polo died in 1324 and was buried in the church of San Lorenzo in Venice.


Marco Polo's first known ancestor was a great uncle, Marco Polo from Venice, who lent some money and commanded a ship in Constantinople.


Andrea, Marco Polo's grandfather, lived in Venice in "contrada San Felice", he had three sons: Marco Polo "the older", Maffeo and Niccolo.


Marco Polo is most often mentioned in the archives of the Republic of Venice as, which means Marco Polo of the of St John Chrysostom Church.


In 1168, his great-uncle, Marco Polo, borrowed money and commanded a ship in Constantinople.

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Meanwhile, Marco Polo's mother died, and an aunt and uncle raised him.


Marco Polo received a good education, learning mercantile subjects including foreign currency, appraising, and the handling of cargo ships; he learned little or no Latin.


Marco Polo returned to Venice in 1295 with his fortune converted into gemstones.


Marco Polo was probably caught by Genoans in a skirmish in 1296, off the Anatolian coast between Adana and the Gulf of Alexandretta.


Marco Polo spent several months of his imprisonment dictating a detailed account of his travels to a fellow inmate, Rustichello da Pisa, who incorporated tales of his own as well as other collected anecdotes and current affairs from China.


Marco Polo continued its activities and Marco soon became a wealthy merchant.


Marco Polo told him that during his return trip to the South China Sea, he had spotted what he describes in a drawing as a star "shaped like a sack" with a big tail, most likely a comet.


Marco Polo gave Pietro other astronomical observations he made in the Southern Hemisphere, and a description of the Sumatran rhinoceros, which are collected in the Conciliator.


Marco Polo is clearly mentioned again after 1305 in Maffeo's testament from 1309 to 1310, in a 1319 document according to which he became owner of some estates of his deceased father, and in 1321, when he bought part of the family property of his wife Donata.


Marco Polo divided up the rest of his assets, including several properties, among individuals, religious institutions, and every guild and fraternity to which he belonged.


The will was not signed by Marco Polo, but was validated by the then-relevant "signum manus" rule, by which the testator only had to touch the document to make it legally valid.


An authoritative version of Marco Polo's book does not and cannot exist, for the early manuscripts differ significantly, and the reconstruction of the original text is a matter of textual criticism.


Marco Polo related his memoirs orally to Rustichello da Pisa while both were prisoners of the Genova Republic.


The first English translation is the Elizabethan version by John Frampton published in 1579, The most noble and famous travels of Marco Polo, based on Santaella's Castilian translation of 1503.


Marco Polo inquired about the Pope and Church in Rome.


In 1271, Niccolo, Maffeo and Marco Polo embarked on their voyage to fulfil Kublai's request.


Three and a half years after leaving Venice, when Marco was about 21 years old, the Polos were welcomed by Kublai into his palace.


Marco Polo knew four languages, and the family had accumulated a great deal of knowledge and experience that was useful to Kublai.

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Apparently, from the very beginning, Marco Polo's story aroused contrasting reactions, as it was received by some with a certain disbelief.


Marco Polo relates that before dying, Marco Polo insisted that "he had told only a half of the things he had seen".


Marco Polo had at times refuted the 'marvellous' fables and legends given in other European accounts, and despite some exaggerations and errors, Marco Polo's accounts have relatively few of the descriptions of irrational marvels.


Such detailed descriptions are not found in other non-Chinese sources, and their accuracy is supported by archaeological evidence as well as Chinese records compiled after Marco Polo had left China.


Marco Polo's accounts are therefore unlikely to have been obtained second hand.


Marco Polo's claim is confirmed by a Chinese text of the 14th century explaining how a Sogdian named Mar-Sargis from Samarkand founded six Nestorian Christian churches there in addition to one in Hangzhou during the second half of the 13th century.


Sceptics have long wondered whether Marco Polo wrote his book based on hearsay, with some pointing to omissions about noteworthy practices and structures of China as well as the lack of details on some places in his book.


Wood maintains that it is more probable that Marco Polo only went to Constantinople and some of the Italian merchant colonies around the Black Sea, picking hearsay from those travellers who had been farther east.


Historian Stephen G Haw argued that the Great Walls were built to keep out northern invaders, whereas the ruling dynasty during Marco Polo's visit were those very northern invaders.


Marco Polo himself noted the dainty walk of Chinese women who took very short steps.


Haw pointed out that despite the few omissions, Marco Polo's account is more extensive, more accurate and more detailed than those of other foreign travellers to China in this period.


Marco Polo even observed Chinese nautical inventions such as the watertight compartments of bulkhead partitions in Chinese ships, knowledge of which he was keen to share with his fellow Venetians.


The historian David Morgan points out basic errors made in Wood's book such as confusing the Liao dynasty with the Jin dynasty, and he found no compelling evidence in the book that would convince him that Marco Polo did not go to China.


Marco Polo's conclusion fails to consider all the evidence supporting Marco Polo's credibility.


The British historian David Morgan thought that Marco Polo had likely exaggerated and lied about his status in China, while Ronald Latham believed that such exaggerations were embellishments by his ghostwriter Rustichello da Pisa.


The sinologist Paul Pelliot thought that Marco Polo might have served as an officer of the government salt monopoly in Yangzhou, which was a position of some significance that could explain the exaggeration.


Haw points out that Marco Polo himself appears to state only that he had been an emissary of the khan, in a position with some esteem.


Haw explains how the earliest manuscripts of Marco Polo's accounts provide contradicting information about his role in Yangzhou, with some stating he was just a simple resident, others stating he was a governor, and Ramusio's manuscript claiming he was simply holding that office as a temporary substitute for someone else, yet all the manuscripts concur that he worked as an esteemed emissary for the khan.


Since the siege was over in 1273, before Marco Polo had arrived in China for the first time, the claim cannot be true.


Marco Polo said that city wall of Khanbaliq had twelve gates when it had only eleven.

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Marco Polo wrote of five-masted ships, when archaeological excavations found that the ships, in fact, had only three masts.


Wood accused Marco Polo of taking other people's accounts in his book, retelling other stories as his own, or basing his accounts on Persian guidebooks or other lost sources.


Morgan, in Marco Polo's defence, noted that even the princess herself was not mentioned in the Chinese source and that it would have been surprising if Marco Polo had been mentioned by Rashid-al-Din.


Marco Polo had therefore completed the story by providing information not found in either source.


Marco Polo never found the kingdom but ended his travels at the Great Wall of China in 1605, proving that Cathay was what Matteo Ricci called "China".


Marco Polo describes in his book a food similar to "lasagna", but he uses a term with which he was already familiar.


In 1851, a three-masted clipper built in Saint John, New Brunswick took his name; the Marco Polo was the first ship to sail around the world in under six months.


The travels of Marco Polo are fictionalised in a number works, such as:.